After two weeks of wandering on two wheels amid misty mountains, cascading waterfalls and cultural fests, we had landed up in the central coast of Kerala, in the bustling town of Kochi.
Kochi, erstwhile Cochin, is a major port in Kerala and the most frequent first port-of-call for travellers to this part of the world, thanks to its busy airport with decent international connections. We however, entered Kochi through its neighbour Ernakulam, after being snarled up quite a few times in heavy traffic on dusty roads.
We knew our machines needed a break, probably an Ayurveda session, so went around finding a service center before finding a hotel. A group of bikers vroomed past us and we followed them blindly rushing through the busy streets. In our first interaction at a signal, they got curious looking at our outer-state number plates. After a brief summary of our journey so far, they were hooked. They took us to the best mechanic in Kochi and invited us to an evening get-together of their riding club.
When eight motorcyclists meet over a coffee, riding stories flow. We started with acceleration and cubic capacities but ended on the road soon. The curves, the bends, the balmy breezes and the misty forests – our discussions and stories had brought out a fact we knew well from inside, we were more than just riders, we all were explorers on the saddle of a motorcycle.
Keeping up to our exploratory spirit, we decided to explore the non-touristy parts of Kochi. We rode into Wellingdon Island and caught a glimpse of the Cochin Port at night.
The blinking lights and the moving containers made an interesting sight.
Our group photo shoot was intervened by a group of policemen who asked us to leave the place immediately as it was a sensitive area. As responsible bikers, we left the place immediately, but the warning couldn’t dampen our spirits!
We rode further to Fort Kochi and had a closer look into Colonial Cochin. The old houses built by the Portuguese, Dutch and English on the roads speak about the diversified cultural heritage this region boasts of. “First the Portuguese, then the Dutch and finally the British ruled these lands” said Mr D’Costa, a resident of the place, out on a night walk.
We had a bellyful dinner and went towards the sea to watch the Chinese fishing nets, which are a must see for anyone who comes to Kochi. It was past midnight and time to return back to our respective shelters.
After we reached Ernakulam, we hugged each other and promised for more trips together as and when we meet. We were completely overwhelmed by the love, warmth, respect and recognition bestowed upon us.
That night we had a contented sleep, as a proud rider and a proud explorer on the saddle of a motorcycle.
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